Revenues from health care tourism over the last five years has reached $4.4 billion while a total of 1.8 million people visited the country for health purposes during the 2013-2017 period.
Data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) showed that 433,292 people came to Turkey last year for health care tourism. The figure pointed to a 62 percent increase compared to 2013 when the country welcomed 267,461 visitors for healthcare tourism.
In the first half of the year, a total of 274,062 tourists visited Turkey for medical purposes, the TurkStat data showed.
Moreover, the revenues of health care tourism have also recorded a significant increase over the last five years. Last year, Turkey generated $1 billion in healthcare tourism, while the figure was recorded at $747.6 million in 2013. The revenues of healthcare tourism reached $590.1 million in the first half of the year.
The Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB) Chairman Firuz Bağlıkaya recalled that the tourism revenue generated from foreign visitors coming to Turkey for medical treatment exceeded $1 billion last year.
"Revenue from health tourism continues to increase this year. In the first half of the year, tourism revenue from visitors coming for medical treatment rose by about 17 percent compared to the same period of last year," Bağlıkaya said, adding that with the increase to be experienced in the second half of this year, the tourism revenue from medical visitors is expected to approach $1.5 billion.
Bağlıkaya pointed out that the TÜRSAB continues its activities for the development of health tourism, stressing that a cooperation protocol was inked between TÜRSAB and Federation of Health Tourism Associations of Turkey (TURSAF) in this context. The TÜRSAB chairman also noted that the protocol aims to develop, promote and market health tourism in Turkey and abroad with relevant institutions, and to identify areas of activity for the determination of its standards. He added that the International Medical Tourism Islamic Council will be organized in Antalya on Nov. 7-11 within the scope of the protocol.
Nearly 400 purchasing delegations from 56 Islamic countries will come to Antalya, Bağlıkaya highlighted that at the International Medical Tourism Islamic Council, they will try to improve medical tourism among Islamic countries by conducting evaluations and studies in the field of health tourism in the medical field.
"Representatives of all health facilities, academics and nongovernmental organizations will participate in the organization. In the speeches we will deliver at the meetings, we will explain in detail the services of TÜRSAB in the field of health tourism," he continued. "In addition to medical health tourism, we will strive to best promote our thermal springs, which are the treatment and rehabilitation-oriented water resources, and the services we provide for third age tourism and disabled tourism, to the representatives from Islamic countries."